Happy Friday! Can you guess what kind of Friday it is? It’s Fountainhead Friday over on the BBGT Patreon! Second chapter is up at 7AM EST for any patron tier that gets you access to our exclusive posts. As a reminder, our posts for The Fountainhead will be up on BBGT free for everyone eventually, once I have time to actually write the majority of them, but for patrons will have early access to them for a quite a while. If you want even more bad books, more good times, and want to help support the work we do here, take a look!
Anyway, now for the other bad book.
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 39
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 40
Sigh, ok, fine. I’ll recap it, but I won’t like it.
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 39
This chapter kicks off with Feyre chillin’ with Amren at Amren’s apartment, which makes so little sense for the two of them to be doing that Amren has to call attention to it.
“I somehow like this apartment by the river the best.” She frowned at the skylights that dotted the ceiling. “It also means I never have to host parties or guests. Both of which I abhor.”
I chuckled. “Then I’ll keep my visit short.”
She let out an amused huff, crossing her legs beneath her. “Why are you here?”
Seriously, this chapter is so badly written that Feyre’s visit of plot convenience begins in media res, contains a flashback to a whole conversation Feyre had last night with Rhysand via not-text message about his tattoos, and then explains why the first contrived scene is even happening in the first place.
“Cassian said you’d been holed up in here night and day since we got back […] and – I had nothing else to do.”
I fucking hate reading this book, you guys. It’s like someone tore all the subplots out of The Lord of the Rings and The Host and shuffled up the pages and said it was the sequel to sexy Beauty and the Beast.
We learn that Amren doesn’t give a shit about the blood ruby that Tarquin sent to symbolize the bounty he put on her head, which is the most the reader has probably ever been able to relate to Amren up until this point.
She was using her blood ruby as a paperweight.
“Rhys convinced you not to destroy Adriata for the blood ruby?” […]
“He did no such thing. That convinced me not to destroy Adriata.” She pointed to her dresser.
Sprawled across the top like a snake lay a familiar necklace of diamonds and rubies. I’d seen it before – in Tarquin’s trove. […] “Varian sent it to me. To soften Tarquin’s declaration of our blood feud.”
I don’t even remember who that is or why they would do this.
The chapter mostly comprises of “weeks of waiting” where Cassian trains Feyre on combat with swords and Rhys teaches her who all the High Lords are (because apparently this is finally the time to do that) and what their courts’ politics and histories are. This is thankfully NOT infodumped, which is fascinating because it seems sort of important but apparently we finally found where Sarah J Maas draws the line at what’s too boring even for her to spend time infodumping.
Then Feyre asks Rhys if he always wanted to be a High Lord and he says he wanted “to be a different sort of High Lord”. None of this is new information. I have no idea why we had to have another scene about it.
Then we learn that the mortal queens finally agreed to a meeting with Rhysand and Feyre at her human family’s estate, and there’s a plot twist where they unexpectedly winnow (teleport) straight into her dining room.
This was a whole chapter of this book for some reason.
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 40
Feyre assesses the mortal, human queens, of varying ages and ethnicities. They comment on the uniqueness of Feyre, a mortal turned immortal now “standing beside a High Lord at the place of honor” and on Morrigan, whom they address as “the Morrigan from the War”, which is a bit of information way too conveniently dropped in here out of nowhere to not be important in the near future.
Rhys bowed his head slightly […] “We are grateful you accepted our invitation.” He lifted a brow. “Where is the sixth?”
The ancient queen […] merely said, “She is unwell, and could not make the journey.”
The queens tell them they have an hour of their time and get down to business, which is awesome. Maybe what ACOMAF has been missing is mortal characters who want to see the story actually progress sometime before they die.
I swallowed as I inched forward on my seat. “War is coming. We called you here to warn you – and to beg a boon.” […]
“We know war is coming,” the oldest said, her voice like crackling leaves. “We have been preparing for it for many years.” […]
“The humans in this territory seem unaware of the larger threat. We’ve seen no signs of preparation.” […]
“This territory,” the golden one explained coolly, “is a slip of land compared to the vastness of the continent. It is not in our interests to defend it. […] War is war.” […]
I rasped, “There are good people here.”
The golden queen sweetly parried with, “Then let the High Fae of Prythian defend them.”
Feyre’s sister Nesta joins the argument at this point, criticizing their uncaring decision and wondering how the human queens could even deign to let a race they hate so much decide to defend their people or not. The human queens argue that the immortals should “defend against a threat of their own making” and point out “the lives [the faeries] have taken during your long, hideous existence”. They also make personal attacks at Rhysand’s reputation. Dang, it’s almost like making your international relations strategy “everyone must hate us… for the greater good, oh, woe, for this is our burden to bear” is making diplomacy difficult or something.
The argument turns to the human queens’ half of the Book of Breathings, which Feyre’s argument for is straight up just “Please”. No, seriously, I’m not kidding.
“If you will not send forces here to defend your people, then the artifact we requested-”
“Our half of the Book, child, […] does not leave our sacred palace.” […]
“Please,” was all I said.
“Please,” I repeated.
Wow, “please” isn’t working? Shit, how will they ever reconcile their differences if that argument didn’t work?
HOW ABOUT AN INFODUMP?
Mor looked at each and every one of those queens in the eye as she said, “I am the Morrigan. You know me. What I am.”
Aw damn, good thing the reader learned this a few pages ago! Otherwise this would be weird and abrupt.
“You know that my gift is truth. So you will hear my words now, and know them as truth […] I fought side by side with Miryam in the War”
“[I] fought beside her as Jurian’s ambition and bloodlust drove him mad, and drove them apart. Drove him to torture Clythia to death, then battle Amarantha until his own.”
“I marched back into the Black Land with Miryam to free the slaves left in that burning sand, the slavery she had herself escaped.”
We’re fucking nowhere near done with this convincing argument about brand new information the reader has almost no context for.
“Miryam was my friend, as Feyre is now. And your ancestors, those queens who signed that Treaty […] I see nothing of those women in you. […] You laugh at the idea of peace? That we can have it between our peoples? […] There is an island in a forgotten, stormy part of the sea. […] And on that island, Miryam and Drakon still live. With their children. With both of their peoples. Fae and human and those in between. Side by side. For five hundred years, they have prospered on that island, letting the world believe them dead-”
“Mor,” Rhys said – a quiet reprimand.
Whatever the hell any of that was somehow results in the queens saying that they want proof that Rhysand’s interests are really for peace before they consider handing over their half of the Book of Breathings, and Rhysand angrily agreeing. I guess the plot progressed? Did something happen? Maybe if I distill this conversation to the key points, I can understand what happened.
Rhysand: Feyre, my most trusted, powerful, and valuable ally. I leave it to you to convince the mortal queens that their most valuable artifact – which they know we could use to kill them all or worse – should be given to me, Rhysand, who has spent my entire adult life making the rest of the world think I’m evil.
Feyre: Can we have the book?
Human Queens: No.
Feyre: Well, I’m out of ideas.
Human Queens: Furthermore, we’re faerie-racist.
Morrigan: Oh yeah? Well, would you be surprised to hear that [lots of proper nouns that have appeared either two or three times or not at all in the story up until this point].
Human Queens: Interesting. We will reconsider our prejudices and mistrust of your people if you can prove that.
Person Reading ACOMAF: What.
Tamlin: Am I still a character? (throws a table at a wall)
Nope, if anything, now I’m more confused.